DORAL, Fla. – Jordan Spieth didn't play in the Honda Classic last weekend. He was at Augusta National instead, playing a couple of practice rounds as defending Masters champion.
At 22 and with a U.S. Open championship trophy to go along with that green jacket, Spieth is already focused on winning multiple major titles. It's the way Tiger Woods always saw the golf world and his place in it, and the way Jack Nicklaus operated before him.
Hard to argue anything this confident kid does or says or thinks, not when he's No. 1 in the world golf rankings and not when he just outplayed two other superstars in the feature group at Doral's World Golf Championship event.
One of those famous playing partners, Rory McIlroy, was going along just fine Thursday until he plunked one in the lake on his final tee shot of the day at No. 9. That led to a closing double bogey and a mundane 71.
The other, Jason Day, didn't do anything all that special in the course of an even-par 72. Staring at the twin 66s that first-round leaders Scott Piercy and Marcus Fraser hung on the scoreboard must have made him a little sad. Playing with Spieth, though, is sometimes even worse. Sometimes it's enough to make even a young star like Day feel a little creaky.
Back in 2010 Day won his first PGA Tour event at the Byron Nelson Classic and was feeling pretty spectacular, having broken through for a victory at 22. Funny thing was, the Dallas-area media were even more excited about their hometown wonder, Spieth, contending in that same tournament as a 16-year-old high school junior.
Spieth shot a Saturday 67 while competing in that tournament on a sponsor's exemption and was tied for seventh heading into the final round. Couldn't get any closer with a closing 72, though, which must have bugged him just a little. He had a winning streak going until then, having taken the Texas state high school title one week earlier.
"Jordan, he's one of those guys that's so gritty that no matter what he does, he'll find a score out there," Day said.
He'll always find a way to kick himself over not making that score a little better, too. Thursday's round, for instance, ended with a bogey when Spieth couldn't get up and down from a greenside bunker on his final hole of the day, No. 9.
"That was a poorly played hole," said Spieth, who is playing again Friday with McIlroy and Day while keeping another eye on whoever is leading. "But yes, I would certainly sign up right now for three more rounds with the same score."
Such a string of 69s would add up to 12-under-par 276, which would have been sufficient to win the last two years at Doral. It figures that somebody will have to go a little lower this time. The greens are a little softer and more receptive than usual and the wind has yet to make an appearance.
This article was written by Dave George from The Palm Beach Post and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.